Florida Keys begin mandatory evacuations before Irma

ABC News' Gio Benitez reports from Key West, Florida, where residents and visitors will evacuate via a single highway that is prone to flooding.
1:56 | 09/06/17

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Transcript for Florida Keys begin mandatory evacuations before Irma
Now to the Florida keys where they're starting mandatory evacuations. The chain of islands is home to 80,000 residents and a destination for thousands of tourists and gio Benitez is there on the only road in and out of the keys. Good morning, gio. Reporter: Hey, robin, good morning to you. You said it. Mandatory evacuations for visitors in place right now started at sunrise. I want you to take a look at this. This is the reason why those evacuations are already in place. You see all this water here. We are at the water's edge. But walk with me because I want to show you this. We are also at the road's edge. This is the overseas highway here. You can see people already getting out of here. This is the only way in, the only way out of the Florida keys and so this actually floods because on the other side of this you have water too. I want you to take a look at some video shot earlier. This is a bird's-eye view of this overseas highway. There is a reason why it's called the overseas highway. I've seen storms come through here far less powerful than Irma and flooded the place. It becomes very difficult to do anything then because now you're talking about only traveling in boats. So it is a serious situation if this becomes flooded, robin. Key west, of course, has an airport, gio. But flights there have been canceled beginning tomorrow morning. The storm is not hitting until this weekend. So why so early and are people concerned that's -- that may be a people wanted to evacuate. Reporter: That's right. You know, they're actually closing it tonight after that last flight out 5:50 P.M. Takes you to Atlanta. That's the last flight out. Doing it early because as you know, residents here in the keys like to stay put. They don't like to leave the keys during storms so what officials are saying is, listen, this is a very strong storm. Take it seriously and get out. I imagine that soon we're going to see a mandatory evacuation for residents too, robin. All right. Gio, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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